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Off-Day May 27 Quotes: Mike Babcock

NHL.com @NHL
Q.  Was last night close to a perfect hockey game for your team in the sense that you didn't allow a shot on goal until the 12 minute mark. You didn't allow a five-on-five shot on goal until five minutes and change in the second period?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: It was a real good start for us. Obviously you want to get off to a good start. After winning Game 1, you're always doing everything obviously to prepare for the next game. I thought we got off to a good start. I thought when we went up 2-0 they had a push there. We got cautious for a period of time. Other than that, we played a pretty good hockey game.

Q.  Do you think that what happened late in Game 2 might change the tone of this series at all?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: No.

Q.  When you were coaching Anaheim, you went down 2-0 on the road in New Jersey and you came back and you righted everything. What did you say to your players to get things righted at that time, and what would you be doing if you were in the Penguins' shoes?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK:
I asked myself exactly that. We had 11 days off. I don't know if you remember, but we swept our series, and then New Jersey went seven against Ottawa and the League decided they didn't want to start on the long weekend. So we end up, I thought, being penalized for that at that time. So it took us -- I think it's a different scenario. Your legs aren't moving. The bottom line, just like their coach, their guys are going to try to do, is they say: Okay, we're a good team at home. We're 8-0 at home. Nothing's happening in this series as long as we hold serve, kind of thing. And that's exactly what happened, is suddenly the series was the best of three.

Q.  What does it say to your team that Pavel [Datsyuk] was able to stand up for himself against Roberts and some of those guys at the end of the game?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Pavel can stand up for himself. I guess you're trying to send a message or whatever. To me, the game's going to be won in between the whistles. And you're not going to back us off one inch. It's impossible. You're not going to back up Pavel. And you have to decide for your own team what you think helps you win. And we have a plan, and until that plan needs to be changed, we're going to stick with the plan we have. And our guys are committed and determined, and we'd like to have success. That doesn't guarantee anything. But we'd sure like to have success. We think we're playing hard. We think we can be better.  And we're going to try to be better. Just the Mule getting a game under his belt, should be a better hockey player the next game. And that should make us a better team.

Q.  Given the atmosphere we're expecting tomorrow night, do you foresee your team having to weather an early storm?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: We talked about that today. What everyone says in the playoffs is: Okay, you go to the visiting team, you have to always weather the storm. Why is that? Do we hear that enough that we make that true, or is there a reason we can't be the storm? You say it's going to be loud. Was it not loud in our building last night? It's not the like we can hear either in our building. We're not going to be able to hear in their building. You know, I don't know. I think they're going to have more energy, you assume. But I would bet that they felt they had good energy last night at the start. They tried to come out with a real good push. I don't know the answer to that.  I know what we're going to try to prepare for is having the best opening 10 minutes that we can have, just like we try to do each and every night.

Q.  How do you react to [Penguins forward Gary] Roberts adjusting that Franzen must have been embellishing, if he goes down that easy, he shouldn't be playing?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Rob's allowed to say whatever he wants to say. We were all at the game. We all watched. I don't know, does he have shoulder pads on his hands? (Laughter).

Q.  So much attention is paid to [Brian] Rafalski and [Nicklas] Lidstrom for obvious reasons. Do you think the contribution of [Brad] Stuart and [Niklas] Kronwall gets overlooked somewhat?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I don't think in these playoffs -- I mean, Kronwall has been a star, in my opinion. If you like hockey and you like a physical game and you like a predator type guy and a guy who is offensive and a guy who is a complete player, then you've got to like Kronwall. He's in the prime of his career, and he's just going to get better. And I think he has a real impact. For example, tomorrow night we won't be concerned which pair of those two   which of those two pairs are on the ice against anybody. We'll just play them.

Q.  After watching the tape again from last night, were you okay with the way they kind of went after Franzen late in the game, and is he okay, no effects?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: What I would say, it makes it interesting. The League and the media are all about revealing injuries. Do we understand today why you don't? And we talk about respect (smiling).

Q.  Do you think he was clearly going after his head?

   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I never said that. You were at the game.

Q.  The fact that you don't have the last change tomorrow or, yeah, does that affect anything for you? Does that change anything or the fact you're up 2-0 makes things a little easier and you can just roll your lines?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: No, we're going to play the way we play, regardless. And so there's two trends of thought. I can get our guys on and off the ice all night long, if we want to do that. That's normally not what we do. What we'll do is we have, in our opinion, in the Draper line and Filppula line and Zetterberg line, lines that can play against anybody. We have two pairs that we're real comfortable with against anybody. If you look at the nine and the four guys, we'll just let them go. The other thing about it is you put Datsyuk and [Henrik] Zetterberg and Holmstrom and Rafalski and Lidstrom on the ice, they have to stop them too. There's two sides to that.

Q.  Therrien said it's a crucial game for them. But he said it's also a crucial game for the Detroit Red Wings. Do you feel that you can go for the jugular? Obviously you can really instill doubt.

   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: Well, I guess the way we look at it is -- I've said this all along, every year. It's boring and redundant, but the game you're playing is the most important one of the year.

Q.  Still, do you have to sell that to your players on any level?
   
COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I think when we went to Nashville and we were up 2-0, we figured that out. And I think we went to Calgary and we were up 2-0, and we figured it out. And when we were up 3-0 against Dallas and suddenly you're playing Game 6 in their building, we're all human, and we all want to do well. I think the whole key -- I say this all the time -- if you just live in the moment, if you enjoy today and prepare and then we get up tomorrow, we enjoy and prepare tomorrow, we have a chance, I believe, to be successful. And that's going to be our focus, like it always is. I think we have a real professional group. I think we're a pretty consistent hockey club. We've had our moments, but I think we've been pretty consistent at playoff time.
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